What is FFC PCB? Major Difference with Flexible Printed Circuit

ffc pcb

Most individuals, particularly beginners in the realm of electronics industry and circuit boards, may find it perplexing to distinguish between FPC vs. FFC PCB.

Although FPC and FFC may seem similar at first glance, they are distinct from each other in terms of functionality & features. Determining the differentiation between the two requires closer inspection.

By the end of this article, you’ll be familiar with the variations between FFC and FPC. We will delve into major differences between these two components.

FFC PCB (Flexible flat cable)

Polyimide Stiffener flex circuit

Electrical cables that are flat and flexible have their origins in ribbon cables, though in a more compact size. These cables are known as Flexible Flat Cables (FFC). It has many uses in high-density electronics, including laptops, mobile phones, and other related gadgets. The cable is a flexible alternative for various electronics since it has a range of options of itch, from as tiny as Half mm to as large as 2.54mm.

FFC is the perfect alternative for use in confined locations where standard round cables might not fit due to their small size and flexibility. In addition to being more aesthetically pleasing, the flat design helps electronic gadgets have less messy cords. FFC has developed into a crucial part of the electronics industry thanks to its adaptability and small size.

The remarkable cable management skills of FFCs are well known. They are built on a flat, flexible plastic film substrate that is covered in metals. These conductors are linked to a single surface. FFCs can be used in confined places where conventional round cables would not fit, thanks to their small shape. Furthermore, FFCs remove wire coupling problems and provide greater suppression (RFI/EMI). FFCs are a well-liked option for a variety of electronic applications due to their flat, flexible shape.

Examples of FFCs that can resist temperatures up to 150 °C include those that can be used in foldable gadgets, mobile printing, and high-temp jumper systems in automobiles. They are also perfect in circumstances when there are weight and space restrictions due to their flat and flexible form. FFCs are a well-liked option for many sectors and applications thanks to their adaptability and endurance.

FPC – Flexible Printed Circuit

Full PCB Manufacturing

FFC circuits are simpler than flexible printed circuits (FPC), also called flexible circuits. They are flexible materials-based boards that may combine components. FPCs, in contrast to FFCs, are created by etching a copper circuit board onto a polyimide substrate. These circuits are suited for usage in harsh locations since they can withstand even more demanding circumstances. When compared to other types of circuits, FPCs’ versions of approximately 0.3mm offer even greater adaptability and durability. FPCs offer even greater dependability and performance than FFCs, which are renowned for their prowess in challenging environments.

To increase the flexibility of tightly constructed electronic packages, (FPCs) are frequently employed in all rigid boards. FPCs come in a variety of forms, such as double or single-sided, & multilayer circuits.

While double-sided FPCs have two layers of conductors, single-sided FPCs only have one. Because there are various FPC types available, engineers and designers can select the best one for their unique application, giving them more freedom in the development of electrical systems. FPCs are crucial components of contemporary electronic systems, whether they are single-sided or double-sided. They improve performance, dependability, and durability.

In comparison to single-layer or double-sided flexible circuits, those with several conducting layers offer a higher level of intricacy and capability. Enhanced electrical performance, lower form factors, and increased dependability are just a few benefits of flexible multilayer circuits. They are a vital part of contemporary electronic systems because of their extensive use in several applications and sectors.

Applications Differences between FPC vs. FFC PCB

FFC & FPC cables each have particular uses and functions. A wide variety of contemporary electronic gadgets, including plotters, copiers, and fax machines, scanners, stereos, & LCD appliances, are among the different applications that typically use FFC cables. These cables are now an essential part of many different kinds of electronics due to their versatility and dependability in a range of circumstances.

While FFC cables are well-suited to high-flex applications, FPC cables serve a different set of needs and requirements. Regardless of their specific applications, both FFC and FPC cables play important roles in modern electronics and technology, contributing to the functionality, performance, and reliability of the equipment that we use every day.

A wide variety of devices, such as antennas, LCD TVs, hearing aids, cameras, laptops, & printers, use FPCs. They also have a significant impact on aviation. FPCs have improved over time to provide more dependability and longevity.

Production Differences between FPC vs. FFC PCB

Flexible flat wires are produced differently from Circuits. FCCL is etched, and then layers are added to make FPCs. While laminating polyethylene terephthalate and flat copper wires are how FFC is produced (PET).

Thus, compared to flexible printed circuits, flexible flat wires are often thicker and bulkier. FFCs are built with two layers, sandwiching the foils for insulation between the wires and the copper conductor in fat size. This architecture, as opposed to FPCs, is what gives FFCs their distinct shape.

FPC has Tough Standards

FPCs are well-known and utilized in a variety of fields and applications. The manufacturing criteria for FPCs are more severe than those for Flat Cables because of their popularity (FFCs). FPCs are favored over FFCs in many military & medical applications.

The production of FPCs requires rigorous adherence to regulations by manufacturers. This is because numerous FPCs are utilized in vital aeronautical and medical apparatus that may influence human life. Before being introduced to the marketplace, FPCs are put through a thorough testing process to ensure their quality. The production &  quality control standards for FFCs, however, are less strict.

Line Layout Differences between FFC PCB vs. FPC

You may have noticed differences in the layouts in FPCs and FFCs. This aspect is another distinguishing factor between the 2 types of circuits. FPCs are designed for applications that involve bending & twisting and therefore have a horizontal line layout.

On the other hand, the majority of FFCs have a perpendicular layout. This is because they are typically used in applications where bending and twisting are not common. The difference in layout line between FFCs and FPCs is another significant factor that distinguishes the 2.

Can’t Replace 

Ultimately, the inability to substitute each other and perform effectively in certain applications distinguishes FPCs from FFCs. For example, their production methods are different, and FPCs tend to be more susceptible to failure compared to FFCs.


Looking for either FPCs or FFCs for your upcoming project? Look no further than RayPCB because we provide a variety of wires with several options for pitch to fit your project needs. Trust us to deliver the wires you need.

Our team of experts can help. Simply specify your requirements, including connector count, terminal type, and length of pitch, and we’ll provide you with a price or quote for the exact cables you need. Don’t hesitate to contact us today to get started!

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *